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Farscape

1.03 - Exodus from Genesis

By Dennis Matheson - aka tanstaafl

[Cast/Credits]  [Overview]  [Quotes]  [Summary]  [References]  [Questions]  [Commentary]

Cast and Credits:

Original US Air Date: March 26, 1999

Regular Cast:
Ben Browder...................John Crichton
Claudia Black.................Aeryn Sun
Virginia Hey..................Zotoh Zhaan
Anthony Simcoe................Ka D'Argo
Jonathan Hardy................Dominar Rygel XVI (Voice)
Lani Tupu.....................Pilot (Voice)

Guest Cast:
Damian de Montemas............Melkor
Jodie Dry.....................Kyona
Geoff Barker..................PK Commando
Chenoeh Miller................PK Commando
Tai Scrivener.................PK Commando

Writer........................Ro Hume
Director......................Brian Henson

Overview:

While attempting to avoid a Peacekeeper Marauder, Moya is infested with a swam of insectoid creatures which take over the ship and raise the internal temperature to a dangerously high level. The heat threatens to kill Aeryn while the crew of the Marauder threaten to kill everyone.

Quotes:

I'm sure your world has no force so ruthless, so disciplined. - Aeryn Sun
Oh, we call them linebackers. Or serial killers. Depends on whether they're professional or amateur. - John Crichton

No offense, human, but what could I possibly need from you? - Aeryn Sun
Oh, I don't know. Manners... personality... stock tips... - John Crichton

It's just you and me. - John Crichton
Actually... it is just me... and you. - Ka D'Argo

I always thought that lesser life forms were useless, just something to be squashed. - Aeryn Sun
Yeah, it's humbling when you realize that... You're not talking about the Draks, are you? Well, on behalf of lesser lifeforms everywhere, I accept the... compliment. - John Crichton

Summary:

D'Argo is giving John an introduction to dental hygiene aboard Moya. It appears that Crichton has been wanting to brush his teeth and D'Argo is giving him a "dentic", a grub-like creature that D'Argo shoves into his mouth to "(clean) all the excess bacteria and food particles".

John starts to gag and D'Argo warns him "Never swallow the dentic!".

An explosion suddenly rocks the ship and Aeryn calls for them to come to Command. They do, John pausing long enough to spit out the dentic and comment "It's kinda minty."

As they enter Command, they see a glowing, moving cloud of something on the main screen. Aeryn identifies it as asteroid debris but D'Argo isn't so sure. Aeryn is working with Pilot to keep the debris cloud between them and another ship, which she identifies as a Peacekeeper Marauder. "Five man crew. Highest level of training. Success measured by body count." The Marauder is from Crais' Command Carrier and is searching for them. They manage to remain hidden behind the debris cloud and the Marauder leaves.

Pilot thanks Aeryn for her help and Aeryn acknowledges that the two of them work well together. Everyone leaves Command except for John, who sees the debris cloud start to move. From an exterior shot, we see part of the cloud entering Moya's vents. John keeps watching the screen. "Huh...you don't see that every day."

Later, Aeryn and John are cleaning up debris tossed around by the earlier ship maneuvers. Aeryn reveals that she had applied to transfer to a Marauder crew when she got caught aboard Moya. She is obviously unhappy. John tries to talk to her and says that everyone on board is in a similar position, they have all had their lives disrupted, and he suggests that since they are stuck together they may as well try to get along. Aeryn becomes angry and says that she doesn't need friends or family.
John gets frustrated. "Somebody's got to be there when you need it."
"No offense, Human, but what could I possibly need from you?", Aeryn asks and leaves the room.

Others of the crew are cleaning up in other parts of Moya. Rygel had been painting a portrait of himself when the jolt hit and Zhaan is helping him pick things up. Rygel has a smear of paint on his face, as does his painted portrait. Zhaan picks up a brush and rapidly begins to paint, to Rygel's minor protests. She creates a painting of Rygel which she identifies as a spirit painting, something that Delvians do for recreation.

Rygel is impressed. He thinks it looks like his ancestor, Rygel I. Zhaan tells him that part of his spirit must dwell within him and leaves. Rygel tells the painting "You had it so very easy."

Aeryn and John are now cleaning up the maintenance bay. Unknown to them, an insectoid creature is also in the bay. It shoots a metallic dart at Aeryn which misses.

Aeryn complains about the heat. John at first doesn't notice anything, but then D'Argo calls and reports that he is detecting abnormal temperatures throughout Moya and asks them to check the temperature in maintenance. John confirms that the temperature is a bit high, to Aeryn's satisfaction. The creature shoots another dart at Aeryn, this time hitting her and causing her to flinch. She tells John she got stuck by a metal splinter then pulls it out and drops it. She and John leave and we see the insect collecting the splinter.

In Command, D'Argo is also pulling a metal splinter out of himself. Aeryn and John enter and they discuss the heat buildup. The drive is generating more heat than it should and D'Argo says that something is blocking the cooling vents. Pilot reports that he is having no success in cooling the ship. Aeryn gets frustrated and storms out. The others agree to shut down all non-essential equipment and try to find the cause of the blockage.

John and Zhaan find the heat controls for one level. John tries to turn it off but can't figure out how it works so Zhaan shows him. John is frustrated while Zhaan laughs in understanding. She comments on his having so much new information to learn.

John thanks her for understanding but says he wishes that D'Argo and Aeryn would understand too, and not keep treating him like the "Earth idiot". Zhaan suggests he win their respect by doing something useful, like defending the ship... or fixing the heat.

John smiles. "Right. Hey... thanks." He moves off to start checking passageways on his own.

Later, John enters his cabin. There, he sees one of the two foot long insects taking some hair from his brush. He yells for the others over his comm. D'Argo yells for him to capture one.

John has jumped onto the bed and watches one insect run into the ductwork. He sees a second insect, grabs the blanket from the bed and throws it over the bug. He then grabs the blanket and smashes the bug repeatedly until it stops moving.

Zhaan analyzes the bug in her lab/apothecary with Rygel watching. To her surprise, the bug has John's DNA!

She relays this information to Aeryn, D'Argo and John who are attempting to cut through some blue gunk which is sealing the door to one of Moya's chambers. She also asks John to capture a live specimen for her.

D'Argo finally gives up cutting in frustration. Pilot reports that all entries to this one compartment have been sealed by the bugs. Aeryn yells in frustration and leaves, prompting John to ask D'Argo what is wrong. He tells him that Sebaceans are unable to tolerate heat. Exposure to it causes Sebacean Heat Delirium and eventually death.

D'Argo starts cutting through a bulkhead and John goes to ask Aeryn about Sebacean Heat Delirium. She tells him that it causes loss of short term memory, then motor functions, then finally long term memory. But, the body does not die; it lives on in that state. It is called the Living Death and is the only time Sebaceans kill their own; from mercy.

Later, John is walking along a corridor and sees Zhaan working on one of the heat controls. He notices that she is setting it to increase the heat, not decrease it, and runs up to her to find out why. She knocks him to the ground and spits the same blue gunk which is sealing the door onto the valve, sealing it in position.

John runs to Command and finds Aeryn there working at one of the consoles. He tries to talk to her when Pilot warns that she is attempting to program a heat increase. He struggles with her and rips her arm off, spilling more of the blue gunk! At this point, the real Aeryn enters Command.
"Crichton. What are you..." she pauses when she sees him holding "her" arm "...doing?"

Later, Aeryn, D'Argo, John and Zhaan are in her lab/apothecary where she is examining the double of Aeryn. John tells about the Zhaan he met earlier in the corridor and they realize that there are doubles of them on board. He realizes that this is why the bug had his DNA; they have collected the DNA of the crew in order to produce the duplicates. D'Argo suggests that all of them cut the tips of their little fingers off in order to tell the originals from the duplicates but John comes up with the less painful solution of simply painting the back of everyone's hands.

Aeryn starts to say something then forgets what it is. The others realize this as the onset of Heat Delirium. All of the temperature controls have now been sealed with the blue gunk so Zhaan starts trying to figure out a way to dissolve it.

D'Argo, John and Rygel go down to the hole D'Argo cut earlier in the bulkhead. They want Rygel to go inside and see what the bugs are up to. Rygel doesn't like this idea, so D'Argo simply tosses him through the hole. D'Argo and John then move slowly down the corridor, occasionally pounding on the walls to scare the bugs away (and incidentally scaring Rygel).

John is worried about Aeryn. He says she looks as if she was staring at her own death and D'Argo says that for her death may be preferable to Heat Delirium. He says that he has seen Sebaceans in Heat Delirium and admits he found the sight enjoyable.

Aeryn, meanwhile, has found her way to Pilot's Den and is in obvious distress. She holds out her hand to show Pilot how badly she is shaking.

Pilot wants to help her. He says that it is strange to be around a Peacekeeper he does not fear and says that he meant that as a compliment. He shuts down Moya's drives and opens the cargo doors to space but this only manages to drop the temperature a few degrees. He apologizes to Aeryn and hopes that the others will find a way to help her.
"Why would they care?" she asks bitterly. "My kind imprisoned them. I'm sure they haven't forgotten."

Rygel, meanwhile, has been exploring the sealed chamber. He finds a large nest or hive in the center with hundreds of hatching eggs producing more bugs. He reports this to D'Argo and John. John suggests that the bugs are making Moya their home.
"Then I'm moving." responds Rygel.

Back in her lab, Zhaan has found something that will dissolve the blue gunk. She calls the others on the comm and one of the bugs shoots her in the back of the neck with a stinger of some sort. She screams and D'Argo takes off running for her lab. John yells through the hole for Rygel, who is now being menaced by several bugs as well.

D'Argo arrives in Command and asks Pilot where Zhaan is. Pilot does not know but tells him that Aeryn is there with him and unconscious.

John is still yelling for Rygel when a duplicate of John drops from the ceiling. The duplicate sees the paint on John's hand and its hand changes to show the same mark. John and his duplicate start fighting.

Back in Command, D'Argo returns carrying Aeryn. Pilot reports that a large number of bipedal creatures are wandering the ship when John enters carrying the head of his duplicate. He reports on how the duplicates can change their appearance to match whoever they are duplicating but that they cannot talk. Rygel, meanwhile, is surrounded by the bugs and cannot move. He sees more duplicate emerging from the nest.

Zhaan enters while trying to get the stinger out of her neck. D'Argo moves to help her when her voice suddenly changes and she announces herself to be the Monarch of the Drak.

The Drak are the insects who have invaded Moya. She asks why they are attacking her and her offspring. John suddenly realizes that the Drak did not start attacking until he killed the one in his cabin. Therefore, he started the conflict.

Through talking with the Monarch John is able to determine that the Drak normally live in deep space, except when they give birth. That is why they came aboard Moya. The heat hastens their birthing cycle. He also determines that the Monarch is about halfway through the birthing cycle.

They are able to work out a deal with the Monarch. The crew (except for Rygel who is still in the nest and Pilot who is, of course, still in his Den) are confined to one cabin until the cycle is over. In exchange, the Monarch will lower the temperature to a safe level for Aeryn. Rygel is unhappy with the deal but John tells him that it is the best they could do.

We now see the Peacekeeper Marauder landing in the docking bay. The five Peacekeeper commandos exit, wondering why Moya is floating dead in space with her cargo doors open. One of the D'Argo duplicates walks into the bay and they shoot it. The commander orders them to Command.

Back in the cabin, the heat suddenly comes back on full blast. They are trying to determine what has happened when Pilot reports weapons fire and the presence of the commandos. Everyone realizes that it is the Marauder but cannot leave the cabin. They try to contact the Monarch, to no avail, and so ask Rygel to help them. Rygel approaches the nest and asks for an audience. The bugs move aside and allow him to enter.

Aeryn is again suffering from Delirium. She pulls John aside and asks him to promise to kill her before the Living Death takes her. John tries to dissuade her, but she interrupts him.
"You said I'm not alone. A friend would do this for me. Family would do it swiftly."

The Marauder crew continues to move towards command, killing several more duplicates along the way. They too are suffering from the heat but their commander orders them forward.

The others are starting to wonder what has happened to Rygel when Zhaan is again taken over by the Monarch. She says she now understands what is happening and knows that they are not to blame. John asks her to let them out of the cabin so they can help her and she agrees. She also says that she will lower the temperature for them but John realizes that this will also help the commandos and asks her to wait. He looks at Aeryn.
"Do it.", she tells him.

John tells the Monarch to raise the heat. He tells Aeryn that he won't let the living death get her but she just asks him to remember his promise. He and D'Argo rush out of the room.

The commandos see what seems to be another D'Argo duplicate lying in a pool of blue gunk on the floor. They step over it and continue when it stands up. It is the real D'Argo, who takes out the last commando in line and takes her pulse rifle.

The four remaining commandos make it to Command, half collapsing from the heat. The leader sees one of the duplicates of John enter and shoots it. Suddenly, multiple duplicates of John appear at all the entrances.

Zhaan is spraying water over Aeryn, who is shaking badly. Aeryn keeps repeating "Crichton... Promise..."

The John duplicates surround the commandos and the real John walks up to their leader. The commander falls to the floor in spasms, asking John what type of creature he is. John suggests that Crais should have asked the same question before picking the fight with him. He tells the commandos to tell Crais what they have seen and to tell Crais he "picked the wrong species to screw around with" then starts to help the commandos back to their ship.

The commander pulls a knife on John who, with D'Argo's help, stands him down. He tells the commandos to carry a warning back to Crais and helps them back to their Marauder.

Much later, the crew is cleaning up the last of the blue gunk. D'Argo wonders why John didn't just kill the commandos but John thinks there is a small chance that it might scare Crais off of chasing them. D'Argo is skeptical.

John thanks Rygel for his help. The Monarch possesses Zhaan for the last time and also thanks him. Then, she leaves.

John goes to an observation deck and finds Aeryn who has now recovered. "Could you have kept your promise?" she asks him.

John avoids the question and moves to watch the Drak swarm drifting away. "You know," he says, "all things considered, there are worse ways to end a day."

References:

Unanswered Questions:

What will the surviving Marauders report to Crais when they return? Will he believe that John is much more dangerous than he really is?

When the heat started getting severe, why didn't Aeryn simply get into her Prowler and wait outside? Surely it has a cooling system of its own. For that matter, shouldn't she have been able to simply get into her spacesuit? If heat is such a threat to Sebaceans, surely their suits should be able to handle it.

Commentary:

While not the most original of plots, Exodus from Genesis does provide some new twists and starts to introduce some of the dynamics between our little band of fugitives.

Early in the episode, John tells Aeryn that as long as they are stuck together they should learn to work together and try to at least respect each other. She derides him for wanting them to be friends or family but that is what is starting to occur by the end of the episode.

Zhaan is starting to become the "mother" of the family in that she is the one who seems to be most interested in caring for the others. She compliments Rygel and implies that she sees something of his honored ancestor in him. She talks to John and gives him hints on how to be more accepted by the others. And, she is working to save Aeryn at the end by spraying her with water. Despite what Aeryn thought earlier, while she may not have forgotten what Aeryn's people did to her, she is apparently able to forgive her for it.

Finally, she is the one who is possessed by the Drak Monarch; the "mother" who has come aboard Moya to give birth.

While John may feel that he is the outcast on the ship, it looks as if Rygel is more suited for that position. Notice how little D'Argo seems to care for him when he is in the nest. He tosses him through the hole and thinks nothing of his predicament. He is also visibly annoyed when Rygel takes an active role in helping them, much more so than when John does so. It is easy to dismiss Rygel as an ineffectual coward or as comic relief, but here he shows his value too by negotiating with the Monarch and gaining a favorable reaction from her.

John's position actually improves with this episode. Aeryn dismisses him early on but when she is suffering from Delirium he is the one she turns to. D'Argo may not totally trust his abilities but he did accept John's letting the commandos go instead of killing them himself.

Aeryn also shows her worth to the others by initially hiding them from the Marauder. Pilot seems to trust her and she acknowledges that they work well together.

So, despite what most of them would probably say, we see the start of a family. A dysfunctional family perhaps, but a family nonetheless.

There are a couple of plot holes in this episode but the major one to me is that everyone has apparently forgotten Aeryn's Prowler and John's Farscape 1. When the heat got to be a problem, why couldn't Aeryn simply get in her Prowler and wait outside? If the Marauder could land she could certainly leave. Was the Prowler infested with the Drak too? What about the Farscape 1? Yeah, I know, without the Aeryn facing Heat Delirium subplot the episode loses some of its tension but glaring oversights like that tend to bother me.

That said, I really liked the development of the relationships between the characters in this episode. Since I think the characters and their relationships are the most important part of Farscape I'm willing to let a few points slide. I also liked the confrontation at the end where John goes from being a confused new arrival to being in charge of the situation.

Overall I'd say everything balanced out to make this a middle of the road episode. Still, it was only the second episode aired (it was the third filmed) so everyone is still learning their way around. Things will only be getting better from here.

Dennis Matheson - tanstaafl@earthlink.net
Farscape and all related characters and elements are © & ™ The Jim Henson Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.

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